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NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, First Round: GW vs Gonzaga

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 #6 George Washington Colonials (29-3, 15-1 A10) vs. #11 Gonzaga Bulldogs (24-7, 16-2 WCC)
7:30 PM, Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR
Media: WRGW, ESPN2/WatchESPN
Announcer: Jeff Pawling
Click Here to Listen Live

The long wait is over as the George Washington Colonials return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. GW has to travel across the country for their appearance, as they face a tough Gonzaga Bulldogs team in the First Round of the Spokane Region.

It has been 12 days since the Colonials thrilling comeback win against Dayton to capture the Atlantic 10 Tournament title and automatic bid to the Big Dance. GW was fueled by Jonquel Jones‘ incredible second half performance, in which she scored 16 of her 21 total points, including four three-pointers, en route to being named the Atlantic 10 Championship’s Most Outstanding Player. Caira Washington and Hannah Schaible were also integral parts of the Colonials’ rally from an eight-point halftime deficit and joined Jones on the All-Tournament Team.

Today’s matchup with 11-seed Gonzaga, the first ever meeting between the two programs, is by no means an easy one. In fact, the Colonials may have drawn the toughest of the 11-seeds in the field as Gonzaga boasts a potent offense that is backed up solid defense and excellent team rebounding. The Bulldogs are led by Sunny Greinacher, the WCC’s 10th leading scorer at 13.7 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting, good for third in the conference. She also grabs 6.0 rebounds per game and, in combination with leading rebounder Shelby Cheslek (8.5 rpg), forms a potent duo on the boards that will present challenges to the Colonials’ front court of Jones and Washington. Keani Albanez is another offensive weapon the Bulldogs lean on, especially from beyond the arc, where she made a team-best 58 three-pointers. Schaible, Shannon Cranshaw, and Brianna Cummings will need to be locked in and use their length to shut down Albanez from the outside if GW wants to prevail in this first round matchup.

Make no mistake, the matchup with Gonzaga, on paper, shows that the game could be a difficult one. Gonzaga has suffered its share of disappointment in the last couple of years, having been upset in the semifinals of the WCC Tournament by eventual champion BYU and having been upset in last year’s NCAA Tournament as a 6-seed by 11-seed James Madison. The roles are now reversed for the Bulldogs, with Gonzaga coming in as the lower-seeded team and there is no doubt that they will be fired up to right the wrongs of last year.

As for the Colonials, today marks the return to the NCAA Tournament and, hopefully, the beginning of an era that hearkens back to the days of Joe McKeown. Jonathan Tsipis has done an incredible job turning this program around in three short years. More importantly, he knows from his days at Notre Dame what it takes to win in the postseason. We saw it at the Atlantic 10 Tournament and now we get to see it on display at the NCAA Tournament. GW may have gotten the worst draw of any team in the dance, but don’t expect Tsipis and company to use that as an excuse. As he said in his press conference yesterday, they have been playing with a chip on their shoulder “since the beginning of the season.” As long as the Colonials play their game and can dictate the pace and style of play, there is no reason why GW cannot move on to the second round.

WRGW’s coverage live from Corvallis will begin at 7:20 with tip off tentatively scheduled for 7:30 pm on gwradio.com.

Men’s Gameday #16: GW at La Salle & Women’s Gameday #16: GW vs. Richmond

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George Washington Colonials (12-3, 2-0 A10) at La Salle Explorers (8-7, 0-2 A10)
12:30 PM, Tom Gola Arena, Philadelphia, PA
Media Coverage: 1500 AM, NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra

A busy Saturday for GW Basketball tips off at 12:30 with the men in action on the road in Philly for the second time in as many weekends. This time, the Colonials trek to Tom Gola Arena to face off with reeling La Salle, a squad that has lost seven of their past 11 contests.

GW is off to a 2-0 start in the Atlantic 10 after surviving a late comeback attempt at Saint Joseph’s last Saturday and holding off Saint Louis 75-72 in their A10 home opener this past Tuesday. The Colonials had five scorers in double-figures in their win over the Billikens, led by Patricio Garino‘s 18 points and Kevin Larsen‘s 16. Yuta Watanabe also finished in double-digits for the fifth straight game, with 10 points in 21 minutes off the bench. GW needed all the help they could get on Tuesday as they were blindsided by a rebuilding Saint Louis team that had cracked the 70-point threshold just once coming in to the contest.

La Salle has dropped their first two A10 matchups, losing to George Mason down in Fairfax last Saturday and dropping a six-point decision at home to UMass on Wednesday. The Explorers have leaned on Jordan Price, a transfer guard from Auburn, who currently ranks third in the conference in scoring with just over 17 points per game. In addition, frontcourt mainstays Jerrell Wright and Steve Zack could create problems down low for the Colonials if Larsen, Watanabe, and John Kopriva fail to bring their A-games.

Due to logistical difficulties, WRGW will not be carrying the game in Philadelphia today. However, you can still listen to Byron Kerr’s call on federalnewsradio.com and 1500 AM, with tip off scheduled for 12:30.

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George Washington Colonials (13-2, 2-0 A10) vs. Richmond Spiders (9-5, 1-1 A10)
2 PM, Charles E. Smith Center, Washington, DC
Media Coverage: WRGW, RaiseHigh Live, A10 Mobile App
Announcers: Cameron Rohde, Tyrique Wilson
Click Here to Listen Live

Approximately 90 minutes after the GW Men tip off in Philly, the GW Women will get underway in Foggy Bottom, looking to defend their Smith Center floor and extend their win streak to 12 against rival Richmond.

The Colonials defeated St. Joe’s 83-69 on Wednesday night in their A10 home opener to match the sixth-longest winning streak in program history. Caira Washington led the team and tied her season-high with 23 points on 9-15 shooting while Jonquel Jones collected her seventh double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Hannah Schaible also had a great all-around performance, filling up the stat sheet with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

In addition to their season win streak, GW will also be looking to extend a team winning streak against Richmond. The Colonials have won the last three matchups between the two programs, the most recent of which was a 72-58 win down in Virginia’s state capital last season.

The Spiders come into Saturday’s contest red hot themselves, having won six of their past seven and most recently knocking off St. Bonaventure 67-61 this past Wednesday. GW will need to contain Janelle Hubbard, who is coming off a 24-point performance on 4-7 from beyond the arc against the Bonnies. The Colonials will also need to contain Preseason All-A10 Second Team selection Genevieve Okoro on the glass. Okoro is third in the conference in overall rebounding with 8.1 boards a game.

The women’s game will air on WRGW, with pregame coverage beginning at 1:45 and tip off scheduled for 2 pm on gwradio.com.

Women’s Gameday #14: GW at Dayton

George Washington Colonials (11-2) at Dayton Flyers (9-3)
3:30 PM, UD Arena, Dayton, OH
Media Coverage: WRGW, ESPNU/WatchESPN
Announcers: Mike Martenak, Keith Woods
Click Here to Listen Live

GW tips off its Atlantic 10 Conference schedule today with a daunting, nationally televised road contest against preseason conference favorite Dayton. The game is a matchup of the A10’s two hottest teams, with the Colonials riding a nine-game winning streak and the Flyers having won eight straight games.

The game will likely be decided down low with a battle of formidable trios. Jonquel Jones and Caira Washington combined for 39 points and 15 rebounds in the Colonials’ win at Towson and Washington has especially come alive of late, averaging 18 points on 72 percent shooting over the past three games. Jones and Washington, along with Kelli Prange off the bench, will need to set the tone early and shut down the Flyers’ frontcourt composed of Ally Malott and Jodie Cornelie-Sigmundova, with Saicha Grant-Allen off the bench. Malott could especially create issues for GW, as she enters as the fifth leading scorer in the Atlantic 10 with 15.8 points per game. Cornelie-Sigmundova is more of a defensive specialist, averaging a little under three blocks a contest.

The backcourt is the area where Dayton could separate themselves from GW, especially at home. The Flyers’ guards are led by Andrea Hoover, the A10’s second leading scorer with 20.3 points per game. Hoover is coming off a 29 point, eight assist performance at Central Michigan, a come-from-behind 98-89 win for the Flyers and I would not be surprised if Hannah Schaible picks up the defensive assignment on Hoover for the majority of this game. Shutting her down is imperative if GW wants to have any chance of picking up the road win.

It should be a fun one in Dayton today and we’ll have you covered from start to finish, with WRGW’s coverage beginning at 3:15 and tip off scheduled for 3:30 pm on gwradio.com.

Women’s Gameday #10: GW vs Memphis

George Washington Colonials (7-2) vs. Memphis Tigers (5-4)
7 PM, Charles E. Smith Center, Washington, DC
Media Coverage: WRGW, RaiseHigh Live, A10 Mobile App
Announcers: Cameron Rohde, Tyrique Wilson
Click Here to Listen Live

Off to the program’s best start in eight years, the GW Women will look to extend their win streak to six on Monday night when they welcome Memphis to Tex Silverman Court on Monday night.

The Colonials completed the sweep of District rivals American and Georgetown with a 72-60 home win over the Hoyas last Tuesday night. Hannah Schaible posted her best game of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds while fellow guard Shannon Cranshaw, filling in for the injured Lauren Chase, added 12 points on four three-pointers. However, it was Jonquel Jones who propelled GW to victory in the second half with 15 points and nine rebounds after spending most of the first half on the bench in foul trouble.

GW will also look to continue their streak of outrebounding their opponents, as they have done so in each game this season. They will attempt to do this against a Memphis squad coming off a 63-46 win over the aforementioned Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday. The Colonials will need to find a way to shut down leading scorer Ariel Hearn, who is fifth in the AAC with 17 points per game. Jonquel Jones will also draw the assignment on Tigers leading rebounder Brianna Wright, who averages 9.8 rebounds a contest.

WRGW’s coverage begins at 6:50 with tip off scheduled for 7 pm on gwradio.com.